Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Why are Indian hospital websites so anemic ?

Most Indian hospitals have their own websites which clearly means that they understand the importance of having an online digital presence. However, most of them use their website purely as a branding tool which means their sites are just digital brochureware. Inspite of being an IT global powerhouse, Indian medical websites have lagged behind. The biggest tragedy is that with just a little bit of effort, they could become world-class, given the fact that India has an unbeatable combination of medical and IT expertise !

Just compare www.mayoclinic.com with any Indian hospital’s website ! Or look at the Alexa ratings or Google page ranks for Indian hospital websites . They get only about one tenth the traffic which much smaller US hospitals do. While it’s true that the number of internet users in the US is more than in India, this is irrelevant. The internet has become a global playing field, where hospitals are doing their best to attract patients from all over the world ! And it’s not about the cost of the website or the use of clever flash graphics or Web 2.0 tools either. The reason for the poor traffic is much more basic – it’s poor quality content !

Most hospital websites are chockful of information about the hospital , but they have precious little content which is designed for the patient ! Remember that when someone is sick and is looking for medical care, they will not do a search for Fortis Hospital or Care Hospital ! They will google for more information about their disease – and because Indian hospital websites provide precious little information on just a few diseases, they rank very low on a google search !

The solution is simple – hospital websites need to offer a comprehensive library of online information for prospective patients. However, this is a surprisingly challenging and complex task. Most webmasters have no medical expertise and they naively expect the hospital doctors to provide them with the content for the website. However, most doctors are very poor at communicating and are of little help . Generating high quality content for patients can be a very expensive and time consuming exercise – especially when you need to keep it uptodate and error free . Also, hospital management is worried that they may get sued if they provide incorrect information, which is why they often prefer not providing any information at all !
So what do they do ? Some will get their doctors to provide a few pages of content – material which is badly written, full of medical jargon and hard to understand. Others will source free health information - for example, from Wikipedia. However, this is often of patchy quality – and these hospitals get what they pay for ! The other option is to license this information from US and UK publishers– but this can be very expensive !

The good news is that HELP, in partnership with Healthwise , the leading provider of patient educational content in the USA, now offers Healthwise content to Indian hospitals who want to improve their websites. This means that Indian hospitals can now get the exact same content which Healthwise provides in the USA - at a fraction of the cost ! Both HELP and Healthwise are non-profit organizations, whose mission it is to promote Information Therapy to help patients to make better decisions !

This means that hospital webmasters can get an instant painless Transfusion of Information Therapy ! This authoritative patient education library called the Healthwise Knowledgebase can be whitelabelled and plugged into your existing website within one week , thanks to our Technology Partners, Plus91.

As a result of including this Healthwise content, we are sure you will see a dramatic jump in your online traffic ! If this translates into even one more additional patient per week , you will recover your investment very quickly ! In fact, we are so sure about this, that we are happy to provide a free trial for one month. You need to pay for an annual license in advance. If your traffic does not improve by at least 50%, we will refund your money back.

What do you have to lose ? Please email me at [email protected] and I'll be happy to provide more information !

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